Sunday, September 23, 2007

Little Russ Got It Wrong

This morning I watched Tim Russert of Meet the Press, interview Senator Hillary Clinton. As one might expect, Russert challenged Clinton's numerous contortions about Iraq since 2002. Russert did a good job and perhaps I’m nitpicking but this error on his part stuck in my craw. Russert replayed Senator Clinton’s October 10, 2002 speech on the Senate floor. It’s a speech many of us bloggers have heard or read many times before, this passage in particular:
“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.”
After playing the video Russert noted that:
“As we sit here this morning, Saddam rebuilding a nuclear weapons program, just not true; giving aid and sanctuary to al-Qaeda, debatable. .”
It is not debatable whether Saddam gave aid or sanctuary to Al Quaeda. The Washington Post, which has been an enthusiastic cheerleader for the neocons, and the Iraq War from the beginning reported the following on June 17, 2004:
“The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no 'collaborative relationship' between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration's main justifications for the war in Iraq.”
Perhaps Russert misspoke when he said, “debatable” but the record needs to be corrected. Far too many Americans continue to believe Al Quaeda and Saddam Hussein had a relationship and justify the Iraq War because of it. This is not “debatable.”

Click here to let Tim Russert know he made a mistake and has a responsibility to correct the record.

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